Guido van der Werve, 2015

Number seventeen, killing time attempt 1, from the deepest ocean to the highest mountain

Standing in a bathtub and taking as many steps as it would need to descend to the ocean’s deepest abyss (Mariana Trench, -11,040 meters); jumping onto a bed until reaching the equivalent altitude of the earth’s highest mountain (Mount Everest, 8,848 meters)—Guido van der Werve’s work Number seventeen, killing time attempt one: from the deepest ocean to the highest mountain epitomizes the artist’s typically dry and deadpan humor.

Like much of van der Werve’s earlier work, this two-channel video installation relies heavily on physical endurance and athleticism. Close to ten hours long, the videos convey a sense of the monotony of a struggle as lonely as this one. Stripped of its real-world settings and recontextualized within the artist’s home in Finland, the work also manages to capture and dissect the very feeling of reaching limits, as well as the essence of what we might be fighting for and against—ourselves.

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Number seventeen, killing time attempt 1, from the deepest ocean to the highest mountain
Guido van der Werve
2015
2 channel video installation, color video, stereo audio
1920px x 1080px, 9h41'